Webifying wide format printer service

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 Dec 29, 2008

Mutoh just announced that it will be shipping webcams with their wide format printing equipment so that service providers can more quickly diagnose problems. In this announcement http://www.mutoh.com/about/PressReleases-2008/PressRelease-ServiceLevel.html, Mutoh indicates that the system could be used to diagnose problems related to RIPs, maintenance, application settings, and other performance issues. Mutoh didn’t invent this idea, this is similar, albeit much less robust, to a remote finishing equipment monitoring system that GBC launched at drupa. It is notable because it marks further advances in the standard service programs that wide format printer manufacturers are offering.  The message is this; manufacterers are adding value wherever, however possible in this highly competitive market segment. This is pretty easy to replicate, a fairly high resolution webcam only costs about $100 and dealers and service providers will appreciate the opportunity to cut down on on-site visits required to keep equipment running its best.

Who Helped Bernard Madoff?

Jim Hamilton
 Dec 28, 2008

The possible investor loss of up to $50 billion in Bernard Madoff’s massive Ponzi scheme raises questions about how he managed to fool his investors for so long. These people (and institutions) were investing huge amounts of money and yet many sophisticated investors were totally fooled. Madoff’s main tool of deception must have been the statements, in print and/or digital form. Madoff’s senior executives appeared not to know about his fraudulent intentions but without their help, how was he able to manage multiple sets of books and produce convincing statements? Outside of accountants, who else could have been his accomplices (willing or otherwise)? Read more »

Billboard limitations

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 Dec 18, 2008

The other day I read with interest this article (http://www.chinadaily.com.cn/life/2008-10/20/content_7121308.htm) about the government in Shanghai China banning billboards in some locations and establishing rules about the sizes of outdoor advertising in other public spaces. The text of the edict is only in Chinese, so I can’t read it, but the article above says that the rules limit the size of outdoor advertising in bus shelters to 2.5 meters wide and prohibit billboards in more than 630 locations in the city. This is big news because it is often said that the Chinese market has as many billboards as the rest of the world put together, and a large number of Chinese wide format printing equipment manufacturers have emerged to supply that market including WIT Color, Fei Yeung, GongZheng, Yaselan, RTZ, Beijing JHF, and Teckwin to name a few. Most of those domestic Chinese wide format printing equipment suppliers have made some efforts to serve the worldwide market with limited success. If other efforts to limit billboards and other printed outdoor advertising are made in China InfoTrends expects to see these globalization efforts increase dramatically. It is certainly possible that OEM arrangements would be considered as part of those initiatives.

For those interested, there is a ton of detailed information about signage rules and regulations in the United States available at the ISA web site (http://www.signs.org/Default.aspx?tabid=223).

Web-Enabled Print with HP Innovation

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 Dec 12, 2008

The Open Innovation Forum is a new HP initiative focused on sharing new HP projects with members of the analyst, educational, and business communities. As part of the innovation initiative, HP has comprised eight teams that focus on addressing major technology problems in today’s consumer, office, and production environments. The first of an ongoing series of open innovation forums for analysts was held as Webinar earlier today and I thought I’d share a few of the new ideas coming from HP:

  1. HP + Social Media: In October, HP announced that it was teaming up with MySpace to build a “print” button in to all MySpace pages, making it easy for any of the 120 million MySpace users to print photos. HP Photo Cube technology will enable users to create prints, photo books, or gifts from any of the 400 billion photos posted on the site. The new relationship enables MySpace to provide a streamlined method of printing for users and HP hopes to become synonymous with MySpace photos by managing all of the printed output. It’s still unclear who will produce the printed collateral that is ordered through the site.
  2. MagCloud — Publishing for the Masses: This new Web application brings publishers, consumers, and printers together in an effort to streamline the publishing process for short-run magazines. Publishers upload a PDF and pay Read more »

Obama’s Plan: Focus on Healthcare, Part 2

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In my last post, I discussed some recent research conducted by the New England Journal of Medicine regarding Electronic Health Record (EHR) solutions in light of President-elect Obama’s proposal to invest $50 billion in these technologies. In this post, I’d like to broaden the scope of the discussion to include market dynamics, Google’s and Microsoft’s roles, and what the future may hold. As before, you can access a more robust audio/PPT webinar, which also includes some discussion of enabling technologies.

(Webinar note: although I briefly mention the importance of back-file digitization strategies in deploying an EHR — including capture hardware and software — this element should not be understated. Healthcare remains a paper-intensive vertical market, and strategies for digitizing the paper-based information that will continue to be created are at least as important as capturing the mass of legacy documents that are already in existence.  To this end, InfoTrends perceives growth in distributed capture hardware and software, which allow these paper documents to be ingested by EHRs closer to their point of origin.)

There seem to be two somewhat-competing camps in the healthcare records space: Read more »

Obama’s Plan: Focus on Healthcare, Part 1

Other Posts
 Dec 8, 2008

President-elect Obama has drawn considerable praise as well as stark criticism in recent weeks as details of his economic stimulus plans come to light. In this post, we’ll take a look at the Healthcare vertical in particular, where Mr. Obama has proposed spending “$50 billion over several years to accelerate the adoption of electronic medical records and other health information technology.” A solid analysis of the healthcare proposal is available here, courtesy of the Urban Institute. As with all things politics, the proposal itself will likely change before being ratified.

For those that haven’t followed the digital health revolution, I put together a Webinar overview of recent research from the New England Journal of Medicine and industry trends here (audio/PPT). Among other research findings: Read more »

Is the thrill that’ll getcha when you get your [camera phone] picture on the cover of RollingStone

Carrie Sylvester
 Dec 4, 2008
Now that I’ve got you singing the good ‘ol tune from Dr. Hook (those old enough to remember it that is!clip), I’ll admit that I took some liberties… this article has nothing to do with a Rolling Stone cover. Instead, it is about a magazine (VodaWorld) published by an African mobile telecommunications
Summer Issue of VodaWorld being distributed this week
Summer Issue of VodaWorld being distributed this week

company, Vodacom, for its subscribers and service carriers. Although it’s not a magazine that reaches the masses, it has done something that to my knowledge has not been done before – it has used a camera phone photo as its cover shot. Okay, it’s no Rolling Stone, but 1.2 million copies of this magazine are distributed on a quarterly basis.  

According to an article found on the African BIZcommunity.com site, the cover of the latest issue of Vodaworld magazine was shot using a commercially available camera phone, the Sony Ericsson C905 (8.1 MP) Cyber-shot. “The resolution of camera phones has reached the level where they’re no longer gimmicky; they’re real cameras,” states Andrew October, editor of the magazine. (Note: This camera phone is not available in the United States.)


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